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How to Work with your Free Twilio Trial Account

So you want to give Twilio a spin, or you’ve already signed up for your trial account and want to understand what you can and can’t do? You’re in the right place!

Sign up for your Free Twilio Trial

  1. First, sign up for your free Twilio trial account. The signup process includes verifying your personal phone number: this is a security measure that is mandatory before you can try Twilio.
  2. Once you finish signup, you should see your Console Dashboard. This is your home for finding your Twilio credentials, checking your usage, procuring a phone number and more.
  3. We give you a small preloaded balance to test out Twilio’s functionality. You will not be charged for Twilio phone numbers or usage until you upgrade.

Verify your Personal Phone Number

When you signed up for your trial account, you verified your personal phone number. You can see your list of verified phone numbers on the Verified Caller IDs page.

You must verify any non-Twilio phone numbers you wish to send SMSes, MMSes, or place phone calls to while in trial mode. This is an extra security measure for trial accounts that we remove once you upgrade your account. You may verify as many phone numbers as you’d like.

To make other non-Twilio phone numbers available to you in trial mode:

  1. Go to your Verified Caller IDs page in the console.
    Find phone numbers dashboard
    Find verified caller IDs in the console
  2. Click on the red plus (+) icon to add a new number.
    Add a new verified caller ID
  3. Enter the phone number you wish to call or text from Twilio. .
    Verify a new phone number with Twilio

    Note: You will need access to this device to receive the call or text with your verification code
  4. Enter the verification code. You’re now ready to text or call this number with your trial Twilio account.
    Complete your phone number verification

Get your First Twilio Phone Number

You will need a Twilio-enabled phone number (a phone number purchased through Twilio) to send messages or make phone calls using Twilio.

If you’re not picky about your Twilio phone number, you can let us pick your first one.

After signing up for your trial account, navigate to the Phone Numbers page in your console. You’ll see the phone number that we’ve selected for you: note the phone number’s capabilities, such as Voice, SMS, and MMS.

Get your first Twilio phone number

Your First Twilio Phone Number with capabilities

If you don’t like the number Twilio selects for you, you can search for another Twilio phone number instead.

Click on the ‘Search for a different number’ link to reach the phone search interface where you can find a number that better suits your needs. You can customize country, area code, or capabilities.

Buy a Twilio Phone Number

If you don’t use your phone number for more than 30 days, we’ll remove it from your trial project. If you decide to return, you can always pick a new phone number.

If you choose to upgrade your project, your trial number will be carried over and charged monthly according to current Voice/SMS rates.

How to Release a Twilio Phone Number

Note: we only allow 1 Twilio number per trial project. If you select a number or choose your own and decide that you’d like a different phone number, you must first release your current number, then pick a new number from the Buy a Number page.

To release your current Twilio phone number:

  1. Go to the Manage Numbers page.
  2. Click on the number you would like to release.
  3. Click on the link at the bottom of the screen that reads “Release this Number.”
    Release a phone number
  4. Once you’ve clicked the link, the number will be released, and you can get a new Twilio Phone number from the Buy a Number page.

A Note on Pricing and your Trial Account

You will not be charged for any numbers 'purchased' during your free trial: the billing cycle for phone numbers and usage only begins once you upgrade. You may see charges on your Project Usage page: this is just to give you a feel for our pricing and your usage. You will not owe this money once you upgrade.

Trial Account Restrictions and Limitations

The processes for sending messages, making phone calls, and setting up an Elastic SIP Trunk are the same on a trial account as a full paid account. However, there are some restrictions and limitations while in trial mode.

Making Phone Calls

  • Calls to and from your free trial phone number will play a short trial message before your TwiML runs. Within that message, we ask you to press any key to proceed with the call itself. Only after pressing a key will the code from your website will be requested. If you don't press a key, the call will not connect to your code.
  • Calls are limited to 10 minutes while in Trial mode.
  • Any non-Twilio phone numbers you want to place calls to must be verified first, or the call will fail. This is a security measure required for all trial accounts.
  • You can use either your Twilio number or a verified Caller-ID as your `From` number. You can add a verified outbound caller ID via the console. You may verify as many phone numbers to be used as your caller ID as you like.
  • You may make international calls from your trial account: however, you only have access to GA and Beta phone numbers. Check out the limited list of countries you can make calls to while in Trial mode.

Sending SMS and MMS Messages

Note: You cannot send SMSes from your personal phone number with Twilio, whether on a paid or trial plan. You can always send messages from Twilio numbers.

  • When you send an SMS from your free trial phone number, it will always begin with “Sent from a Twilio trial account.” We remove this message after you upgrade.
  • While in trial mode, you can only send messages to non-Twilio phone numbers you’ve verified with Twilio.

Sending Messages Internationally

You can send international messages from your trial project as long as you:

  1. Ensure your trial number is SMS-enabled and not restricted to sending/receiving messages and calls from local numbers. You can see your phone number’s capabilities on the Phone Numbers page in your console.
    Twilio phone number capabilities
    This number is not restricted to domestic calls and messages and has Voice, SMS, and MMS capabilities.
  2. Review your SMS Geo Permissions to make sure the target country you’re sending messages to is enabled.
  3. Remember: you can only send messages to verified phone numbers when you’re in trial mode. Make sure you verify the international phone number you’re sending to in the console.

Elastic SIP Trunking

When you sign up for Twilio, you will get a free telephone number and a free trunk. You can fully configure this SIP Trunk for testing and placing actual calls to and from your business. Twilio Trial accounts can take full advantage of SIP Trunking services for testing, there are a few restrictions that apply only to trial accounts. Keep these in mind as you develop:

Trial Accounts have a maximum of:

  • 1 unique SIP trunk
  • 1 origination phone number
  • 1 Trunking termination call per second (CPS)
  • 4 concurrent calls

Note: Trial accounts may only place Trunking calls TO and FROM verified numbers. Be sure to verify any non-Twilio phone number first by having Twilio place a verification call to it. This is an extra security measure that we remove once you’re calling from an upgraded account. A purchased Twilio phone number also qualifies as a verified number you can use as the caller ID.

How to Upgrade your Account

If your Twilio needs expand or you need to accomplish something that isn’t available to your trial account, you’ll need to upgrade your trial account to a full paid account. All you need to do to upgrade is provide your payment information via credit card or Paypal on the billing page. You can have Twilio automatically charge you when your balance falls below a certain threshold that you set, or you can buy Twilio credits with individual payments.

Kat King Andrew Baker
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